Ignorance In Mark Twain's Life On The Mississippi River

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In our memories, there’s a lot we retain. Some are pleasant while others are devastating, however, as knowledge becomes more apparent and we learn more, we begin to realize that what we perceive isn’t really all that real. Knowledge is obtained through various way and in the case of Mark Twain, he learns more about the Mississippi River by visiting the river. In the excerpt presented from the book, “Life on the Mississippi River, Mark Twain explains the evolution and change in his view point of the Mississippi. This gradual shift from obtaining new knowledge is a great example of how ignorance is a bliss and that finding out too much isn’t all that good. In the beginning of the excerpt, Mark Twain introduces his profound love for the …show more content…
he views the river with confusion and begins to see that what he perceived originally was not really true. His first impression of the river turned out to be an illusion of blinded beauty. As the truth of the river unfolds, Mark Twain’s love for the Mississippi River diminishes. Towards the end of the excerpt, he begins to ask rhetorical questions and uses the analogy of the doctor to convey his central idea. His central idea of ignorance is a bliss is greatly supported in towards the end and also reiterated. He uses the analogy of the change in the doctor’s view of a girl’s blushing cheek shows how with knowledge, some pleasant memories are scared. The doctor in the analogy no longer finds the beauty in the girl’s cheek but instead sees the blushing cheek as a symptom that needs to be treated. He has lost the innocence of blushing cheeks as a sign of beauty. Relating that back to the Mississippi River, Mark Twain also loses the pure love he had for the river and he asks rhetorical questions like, “And doesn’t he sometime wonder whether he has gained more or lost most by learning his trade?” and “Does he ever see her beauty at all, or doesn’t he simply view her professionally…” are rhetorical questions that helps to establish that sometimes, knowledge hinders and blocks the innocence of pure beauty and ignorance isn’t a bad thing, but instead ignorance helps to keep some things

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